Speaking of carbohydrates, rice was in abundance! I ate it with almost every meal! I love rice, but we all know how it can wreak havoc on your blood sugar level. However, I also took caution and made sure that at every meal I also had fruit and/or a vegetable. The white (in color) pineapples and plantains were the best! I also took special care to drink 64 ounces of bottled water daily. Kelewele is a spicy version of plantain and I ate that a lot, and tried to get baked fish and chicken whenever we ate, but primarily it was only prepared fried (Yes!! I know, I am so wrong) so I would take the skin off whenever possible.

Lastly, I engaged those who know about my status to check on me and remind me to test, take, and tell. The test, take, and tell method was that I had to test my numbers in the morning, take my medicine, and tell at least one person the outcomes and how I was feeling. I was surprised to see how much my travel mates cared about my well-being. They were very diligent about this process, almost to a fault. However, I appreciated it.

Africa was so beautiful, yet again. The people, the food, the colors, and the artwork were a sight to see! I was so proud of myself because I took care of my type 2 diabetes much better than the last time I traveled abroad. We were able to to partake in a four-hour dance workshop, walk the slave castles in acknowledgement of an ugly past (that should never be repeated), clean a school from top to bottom, walk in the rain forest, walk in the marketplace, walk on the beach, walk on a mountain, and walk and walk some more! Exercise is also good for my health and and wellness and in Africa we had a chance to get it in! We also had a chance to help the poor, the disenfranchised, the hungry, and those who were ill. Giving back helps the spirit. It was a humbling experience and being able to help someone less fortunate than myself is actually good for my health and well-being.

Finally, upon returning home I had a follow-up doctor's appointment to select a date for my upcoming surgery and guess what? All that work paid off — I learned that I lost 8 pounds while in Africa!

I have to keep this up.

Got it sugar?


Read more of Kalimah Johnson's columns, Get it Together, Sugar, here.


dLife's Viewpoints columnists are not all medical experts, but everyday people living with diabetes and sharing their personal experiences, most often at a set point in time. While their method of diabetes management may work for them, everyone is different. Please consult with your diabetes care team before acting on anything you read here to find out what will work best for you.


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Last Modified Date: June 10, 2013

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by Carey Potash
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